Date: 5th September 2006 at 1:18pm
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“Rocket man” Pedro Mendes, who returned to training last week is set to return to first team action on Saturday as Pompey face Wigan Athletic at Fratton Park.

After returning to training last week after a neurologist gave him the all clear, Mendes, who spent the night in Manchester Royal Infirmary following his infamous run in with Ben Thatcher (which we all know everything about so no need to again go into details) is almost certain to be part of the squad, along with new signings Niko Kranjcar, Roudolphe Douala, and possibly the fit again Lomana LuaLua on Saturday. Mendes himself probably even back to the starting XI.

One new signing who is likely to miss out will be Andrew Cole as he looks to build up his match fitness following injury. Cole, who ultimately came in as Svetoslav Todorov’s replacement had this to say on the official Portsmouth website following his arrival.

“The good thing about Fratton Park is that the fans are electric. I watched them when Arsenal came down and won, but at no stage did the fans have a moan or groan about the Portsmouth team, and they applauded Arsenal for playing so well. Things like that stick in your mind, they always get behind their team and give 100% which is always a good thing.”

“I know Jamo [David James]; I know Sol and I’ve played with David Thompson as well which is always important when you come to a new club because you can fit in straight away. I know the club are trying to push forward, buying players and trying to start something new and I want to be a part of that.”

Cole is a quality signing, over 200 goals in just over 450 games isn’t a bad ration and speaks for itself. For the past 16 years, from Bristol City up to Manchester City he has averaged almost a goal every other game, with some teams, most notably Newcastle (55 in 70 games) even better.

At 34 years-old Cole still has at least the two-years of his contract to offer, and although in the twilight of his career Andrew Cole is yet another name that I could only have wished of seeing in a Pompey shirt as little as a few years back.